You may have noticed that the skin on your arms has become looser or flabbier recently. This is very common, particularly in women, with time and/or after significant weight loss. Is there an effective solution?
What is sagging skin?
Sagging skin on the arms is a natural process that occurs when the skin loses its elasticity and firmness as a result of natural aging or weight loss. The arms (particularly under the upper arms) are often the first area of the body to suffer the effects of skin sagging as the skin is fine and they are put under little strain in our daily lives.
Why does the skin on the arms tend to sag? What are the causes?
There are several reasons why the skin on the arms begins to sag and aging is one of the main causes of sagging skin. With age, the production of collagen and elastin decreases making the skin less elastic and less firm. This is more particularly the case around the menopause. Pregnancies and hormonal changes can also play a role in sagging skin on the arms.
Significant weight loss can also lead to skin sagging on the arms as the skin may lack elasticity and have been put under greater strain than its capacity to recover.
An unhealthy lifestyle with an unbalanced diet or lack of exercise for example can contribute to skin sagging. Extended periods of sun exposure can also damage the skin and accelerate the aging process by damaging the collagen and elastin fibers (solar elastosis).
Finally, genetics is also involved: some people naturally have arms that tend to sag and/or store fat. It is a question of body shape and genetic metabolism.
8 tips and solutions with or without surgery to firm the skin on the arms
Go swimming as often as possible
Swimming is excellent to strengthen the arm muscles and those of the entire body. It also burns calories and reduces body fat, which can help reduce skin sagging. If you tend to have cellulite on the arms, swimming is excellent.
Integrate strengthening exercises into your daily routine
Muscle strengthening exercises such as press-ups and bicep curls are particularly effective for reshaping the arms. Due to various repeated postures, yoga is the sport that uses the triceps the most. A muscle-strengthening exercise like this will help firm the arm muscles (front and back) and improve the aspect of the skin. However, it is important to do this regularly to obtain real results.
Eat collagen-rich foods
Collagen is a protein that helps maintain the elasticity and firmness of the skin. Collagen-rich foods such as meat, seafood, and green vegetables can help improve the quality of the skin on the arms.
Collagen food supplements can also help improve the overall texture of the skin but their specific efficacy in firming the skin is still debated. The production of collagen in the body decreases with age resulting in a loss of skin firmness, so these dietary supplements could help increase collagen levels. However, we cannot stake everything on them: numerous individual factors such as age, lifestyle, and the overall condition of the skin affect skin collagen levels.
Change your lifestyle and nutritional habits
Avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol, as these habits can damage the skin and accelerate the aging process.
In parallel, a diet low in saturated fat, ultra-processed food products, and sugar helps maintain a stable weight and reduce tissue inflammation thus resulting in a slimmer, more tonic silhouette and arms. Conversely, it does not have an impact in the case of significant skin ptosis on the arms.
Try cryolipolysis (or coolsculpting)
This non-invasive (no surgery) medical-aesthetic treatment uses the cold to destroy fat cells in targeted areas. Thanks to a specifically designed applicator that is applied to the back of the arms, the fat cells are crystallized, self-destruct, and are then eliminated by the body. The final result is generally visible after 3 to 6 months. Cryolipolysis does not, however, affect skin tone.
Choose a J-Plasma session
J-Plasma, trade name Renuvion, heats the subcutaneous tissue and tightens the entire thickness of the skin. This treatment is carried out in the operating room under local or general anesthesia and is often combined with liposuction of the arms for optimal results.
Liposuction to slim the arms
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that consists in eliminating excess fat by suction (via a tiny incision) to decrease the amount of fat in the arms making them slimmer and more tonic. It can – or not – be combined with an arm lift or a J-Plasma session when the skin lacks elasticity.
Brachioplasty – or arm lift – to tighten the skin on the arms
Aesthetic surgery requires more scars than liposuction and consists in removing the excess skin to restore a slimmer arm. Brachioplasty is for people whose skin on the arms hangs down a little or a lot as a result of considerable weight loss for instance (« bat wing » arms). If there is too much fat in the arms, it is combined with liposuction.
Several treatment options with or without surgery are available to fight sagging skin on the arms.
It all depends on the amount of fat and the extent of the sagging. In any case, dietary and lifestyle changes will help potentiate the result of the medical treatments.
During the consultation, we will determine together the best solution depending on your needs, constraints, and objectives.